Turkish Terrorists Stage Drone Attack on New Christian Church in Syria

A recent terrorist attack in Syria targeted a new church that stood as an important symbol of Christianity in the war-torn region. The attack killed at least two people while seriously injuring about a dozen more in the Sunday attack that occurred on July 24.

The tragedy, which has seen little coverage in Western media, involved a rocket attack on the Hagia Sophia church in the mostly Greek Orthodox Syrian city of al-Suqaylabiyah. It took place during an inauguration celebration of the opening of the new church.

Blogger Raymond Ibrahim reported on the background of the construction of the church on Wednesday. The project began in 2020 to create a replica at a reduced scale of the ancient Hagia Sophia. The ancient church was the Byzantine Basilica of Constantinople. Hagia Sophia translates to “Divine Wisdom” in English.

Constantinople is today named Istanbul in the nation of Turkey. The ancient Hagia Sohpia was repurposed by the Turkish in modern times as a Islamic mosque.

The building of the replica of the Hagia Sophia in Syria was seen as a Russian and Syrian response to the conversion of the original church to a place of Islamic worship. When the first stone of the new church’s foundation was laid in a 2020 ceremony, representatives of the Moscow Duma were present along with members of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch from the ancient Syrian city of Damascus.

Russian soldiers stationed at a nearby base reportedly assisted in the construction of the new church.

The new Hagia Sophia was built on land donated by Nadel al-Abdullah, the leader of a self-described miltia of Orthodox Christians organized to provide self-defense against “the militant jihadists of the Islamic State or of Jabhat al Nusra.”

The construction of the replica Hagia Sophia was strongly supported by Russian Duma member Vitaly Milonov. He has also led movements to restore the “ancient name of Constantinople” in official state Russian publications in place of the modern Turkish name for the city of Istanbul.

Milonov has also been known to wear shirts with the slogan “Orthodoxy or Death” as a symbol of Russian support of the construction of the Christan church in Syria.

The Muslim terrorist group that has been identified as responsible for the attack on the new church, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), is reportedly backed by the Turkish government. Even though Turkey declared HTS to be a terrorist organization in 2018, in the years since their relationship has changed significantly.

HTS has fought alongside Turkish backed military forces in Syria and has helped Turkey to build military outposts inside Syra.

Turkey appears to have successfully attacked another important symbol of Christainity while Western media and nations stand silently by.

The extent of the damage done to the new Hagia Sophia remains unclear from the limited reports coming from Syria since the attack.